When you are striving to work on the best study guide for tests, consider the types of questions
on the tests before starting to study. Do not wait until the night before to start quizzing yourself or
reading over your notes. It is best to give yourself at least a week or two to prepare for tests.
Additionally, reviewing your notes and more importantly re-reading the textbook each week will help you retain the information. Reading the chapters at least two or three times is best for recalling information. Look at the sections in each chapter and quiz yourself after reading each section by answering as many of the main the critical thinking questions at the end of each section as you can, regardless of whether they are assigned for homework at the end of the chapter. Check the book to verify that you wrote down all of the main points and add any additional information to your notes and reread them to recall new information. After doing so, write down all of the main points that you can recall in the section. Follow the same procedure as you should check the book and add any additional information that you left out and re-read it to retain all of the main information. Highlight and underline all main terms and ideas in each paragraph. Ask yourself to think critically about the readings to retain information and you can do this by looking at the questions at the end of each chapter. It is always best to make sure you know the format of the test as most teachers will give you some information as to formatting. If you are taking a test with a section that contains fill in the blank questions, use note cards as flash cards, in order to quiz yourself. Write the key term or concept that will be defined or explained on one side and write the definition or an explanation of the concept on the back side of the card. You can do this for any subject, as this is an ideal strategy to recall not only definitions, but also concepts that you must remember whether you taking tests, regardless of whether it is a Science, History, English, or a Mathematics test. Either look at the side with the definition or explanation of the term and write down the answer on a separate paper, or look at the side with only the term and then write down the definition or explanation of the term. When you study, to ensure that you can remember the term, regardless of whether it is asked in a multiple choice format, fill-in-the-blank, or true/false questions, review both sides of the card to make sure you can write out the definition and can identify the term. If you do not have note cards, you can use paper and draw a line down the center. On the right side, you can define the term. On the left side, write out the term. Cover up the definition with another piece of paper folded in half and quiz yourself.
After you have finished quizzing yourself by covering up the definition and writing down the term, then review by covering up definition of the term and writing down the the term. This will help you retain information the best when taking tests with fill-in-the-blank or true and false questions. Some teachers require that you correct the false statement with the correct answer. In order to answer the question properly, you need to recall the definition of the term. Read the statement as carefully as possible when looking at true and false questions. Re-read it over several times. If you are unsure of the answer, go to another one that you know for certain what the correct answer is and then come back to the one that is giving you difficulty. This will give yourself time to think more clearly and will give you more confidence after answering one that you know is correct. Sometimes you will be able to think through the correct answer and answer the one that is giving you difficulty by reading all of the other questions. Re-read all questions more than once, especially when you are answering true and false questions, as well as multiple choice questions. When you are answering test questions that are in a multiple choice format, read the question carefully. Cross through all answers that you know for certain are incorrect and then think through the correct answer when you narrow it down to two or three possibilities by asking yourself
to recall the section in the textbook that the question was found on, in order to recall the teacher’s explanation of the term, or to recall any other homework questions, handouts, or exercises you completed that involve the question. After reviewing these sources, continue to narrow it down to one correct answer by filling in the blank with each possible choice as you think through the correct answer, until you have found the one that most accurately answers the question. Ask yourself if you can fill in the blank with the correct answer when taking a test with multiple choice questions. Always eliminate all choices that you know cannot be found as plausible answers based on your recall of the textbook and the notes from class.
You will always have multiple choice questions that you will immediately know and then some you will debate over, regardless of how well you have prepared. Do not worry about this, as some of the possible answers in each question will seem highly plausible, especially based on the difficulty of the question. Sometimes you will need to re-read the textbook more times when studying to recall the information best when taking multiple choice tests, in order to not be confounded by some potential answers in certain questions that should more easily be detected. Read the question several times and come back to the one that you are uncertain of.
Some students benefit from answering all of the questions on the page and marking the ones you are uncertain of. Upon completing the questions on each page, come back to the question, in order to not distract yourself by continually jumping around the page. This may cause you to forget to answer a question, or forget to answer a question you know is correct. Try not to worry about the ones you are not as certain of and come back to it later. Think through and re-read the statement with each possible answer, in order to choose the most accurate answer. In some cases you will need to re-read the question several times, if you are very uncertain of the choice. Try not to overthink the question regardless of the difficulty because this will keep you from answering correctly. If you are more confident in your answer do not re-read it, simply read it as closely as possible once or twice because if you overthink the answer this may keep you from answering with the best answer. The most important concept is to carefully and slowly read each question. Fill in the question with each potential answer to choose the correct answer. Even if you think that you automatically know the correct answer, still read through the question carefully and all of the answer choices because if you rush through a test you will not read the question carefully, or answer correctly even if you think that you are answering correctly. This is especially true when taking true and false tests as the questions are more tricky than most multiple choice questions. The key to success is to read each question thoroughly and carefully and do not overthink the question.
These are some helpful test taking hints that will help you succeed.
Julie is a tutor and featured blogger with Academic Advantage Online Tutoring who enjoys Reading, Writing, Studying the arts, humanities, and sciences.